Sending your resume to an employer can be stressful. If you can avoid making these seven mistakes, you’ll be ahead of the game.
No. 1 Not Targeting Your Audience
When you are applying for a specific position, it is important to tailor your resume to match the desired job description. For example, if you are applying for an office manager job, a clean business resume is appropriate. However, if you are applying for a graphic designer position, your resume better have flair.
Pro Tip: Templates are a great starting point, but everyone has access to them. Regardless of the position you apply for, always make sure that your resume will stand out.
No. 2 Grammar and Spelling Errors
Reread and then have someone proofread your resume before sending it off. Nothing will shoot your resume to the trash faster than incorrect grammar and misspelled words.
No. 3 Paragraph Hyphenation
This is when your sentences are longer than the area provided for them and a hyphenation is added to wrap the text to the next line. This is incredibly sloppy and also very easy to avoid/rectify. If working in InDesign, you can turn off hyphenation in the paragraph panel. It is also very simple in Word but has a few more steps.
1. Got to the Page Layout Tab and Select Page Setup group.
2. Click Hyphenation
3. Select None
No. 4 Too Much Experience
This sounds counterintuitive, but it is true that you don’t need to list every job you’ve had since high school. If you’ve been at a job for the past ten years that’s great! That part-time job behind the deli counter when you were fifteen isn’t going to do much for you here.
No. 5 Run-On Resumes
Don’t go over 2 pages! Ideally, you want to only have one page. If you follow the tip above about job experience, you should be able to keep it short. The hiring personnel don’t have time to read your novel.
No. 6 Generic Cover Letters
It doesn’t concern anyone. Writing a generic cover letter is almost as bad as not including one at all. Take the time to research the company you are applying for and write the hiring personnel a personalized cover letter. This shows dedication through research and that you’re not just resume blasting every available position.
No. 7 Excluding References
If you’re going to write “please contact for references” just include them. By not including references you may come across as unprepared and needing to find people who will be positive references. Even if these are assumptions, they could still cast you in a negative light, and requiring HR to call you for your references only creates more work for them.
Which of these are you guilty of? Have one not listed here? Share it in the comments below!